Time Lapse on the Canon Rebel XT 350D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by flinch13, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. flinch13 macrumors regular

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    #1
    Hey everyone, I'm curious to see if anyone has tried this out. Rather than buying an expensive external unit for shooting time-lapse movies on the Rebel XT, has anyone tried hooking up the 2.5mm connector port with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable and running audio signals through to see what happens? I just got a Rebel and I'm interested in doing time-lapse movies... if I can find an audio signal that can cause the Rebel to take a picture, I can make an intervolometer out of an iPod by making tracks with the signal and timed intervals of silence. Anyone know if this is possible? I'm certainly going to try it if no one else has.
     
  2. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #2
    whoa.
     
  3. CBJammin103 macrumors regular

    CBJammin103

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    #3
    The camera-controlling software that comes with the XTi (not sure about the XT, but probably the same software bundle) can do a mode in which the computer can be a remote-control for all camera settings via USB. That includes shutter speed, aperture, etc. and allows you to take shots as if pressing a software button on-screen were the same as pressing the shutter button.

    I think this is probably the most underrated feature of Canon's software bundle, as I haven't seen anyone talk about it. Seems like a quick, easy solution for amateur users to take tripod-shots around their house, for example, with cheap tripod legs. Just click the button on your laptop, no worries about moving the camera with the shutter button.

    Something in there might be a better solution than rigging up an iPod to your poor Rebel XT, even if that would work. It might even have a built-in time lapse feature, I don't know.
     
  4. MT37 macrumors regular

    MT37

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    #4
    Umm.... a Canon Rebel XT can't make movies. It's a still camera.
     
  5. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Right you are. However, what is a movie besides a series of frames shot rapidly in succession? All you need to make a time-lapse film is a bunch of frames shot in order, which can be turned into a movie later through computer software. This is great for making HD movies of flowers growing/blooming, weather passing in landscapes, etc.

    Since you guys have expressed a little interest but clearly no one has tried this method before, I'm going to try this out. Here's what I plan to do: I want a wired remote for my XT anyway, so I'm going to plug it into my line-in on my computer to get an idea of what types of sounds the remote makes (if, indeed, the interface works through audio signals). If this is the case, I can simply record these sounds and construct audio tracks to do the same thing with my cheapo iPod setup. If this works, I'll post a tutorial on how to do this, and I'll make tracks of the signal sounds to distribute around.

    Thanks for your interest!
     
  6. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    True. The XT, unfortunately, does not have a built-in time lapse feature (which is ridiculous, considering many consumer P&S cameras have this function built-in). Also true, the included software allows you to set the XT to take pictures at programmed intervals. However, if the iPod thing works, that means I can take my tiny shuffle, put an exposure time track on it, put it on repeat, and walk away. No fumbling with a computer, and even more importantly, PORTABILITY. I'm going to the rainforest in a month, and bringing a laptop around is simply not an option.

    Still, my main motivation behind this project is keeping down costs. If this works, I won't have to buy a $140 timed remote, and I will be very happy.

    We shall see.
     
  7. MT37 macrumors regular

    MT37

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    #7
    Yes, you are correct a movie is 24 frames per second in succession. The XT can't shoot 24 frames per second. You could do it, but it'll take a lot of time taking photos and editing the photos together to make the smooth animation.

    I don't really get what you want to do with the sound. But if you want to learn how to do time lapse google it. There are thousands upon thousands of sites that explain it.
     
  8. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #8
    The OP gets it, but I think you missed his point. Movies are played at 24fps. They can be shot at anything. Time-lapse is shot at less than 24, high-speed is shot greater. All he wants is to use an audio signal to trigger a frame, every second/minute/hour/whatever. He'll take the frames shot, stitch them together, and replay the sequence at 24fps. Voila, movie!
     
  9. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    THANK YOU! This is what I mean. When I play it back, time will appear to go by very quickly because it is shot at less than 24fps. That's why it's time-lapse.

    UPDATE: Ordered Canon's wired remote, so we'll see if my experiment works.
     
  10. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #10
    I think you'll find that no "sound" is generated, but that a circuit is completed. Sending anything down the line will probably do the trick, but I've been wrong before.

    To get a decent time lapse, for anyone who is curious, you rarely need more than a few frames every minute or so. 1 frame per second, for example, would give you 360,000 frames per hour. If you run those at 29.97 frames per second (one of many standards), you'll get 2 minutes of video. 1 frame every other second will cut that down to one minute, obviously.

    For longer times lapsed into shorter videos, you can do as few as 1 frame per minute (compressing an 60 frames per hour into 2 seconds of video). Do the math and determine what you need, then go from there.

    To the OP: this might be helpful.
     
  11. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Yes... I thought of this after I realized that the wired remote draws power from the camera, not its own battery, and therefore probably can't make sounds. But who knows, maybe it will work? Since one "channel" is for focus and the other is for shutter, maybe I can get it working by creating audio tracks that have sound on only the shutter channel. Who knows... it's all a guessing game until I get the remote.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #12
    The movie "Corpse Bride" by Tim Burton (See http://corpsebridemovie.warnerbros.com) was shot using a Canon DSLR. They shot it one frame at a time. Current DSLRs have just about exactly the right resolution for a major studio film. In fact the small "crop frame" is the same size as 35mm motion picture film.

    One of the video formats used in profesional film work is just a folder filled with stills where each frame as a sequential frame numer in the filename. This is what the film scanners produce
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #13
    Typically the way these work is by switching resistors across the contacts. Say "pen" if off, 100 ohms is "focus" and closed trips the shuttter. but this is just an example. I don't know how canon does it. But it is certainly NOT and audio signal. Newer ones might be digital but if I had to bet I'd bet on just some resistors and a switch. When yo get the remote put an ohm meter across the conacts
     
  14. MT37 macrumors regular

    MT37

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    #14
    Yes, yes, I know all about that. When I originally posted I was very tired from work and I misunderstood what he was saying. Sorry about that flinch13.
     
  15. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #15
    Also ... be careful with how much you trip the shutter. The Rebel XT shutter, for example, is rated to last something like 40,000 actuations. That's less than 30 minutes at one click per second.

    Running 10,000+ shutter actuations in series will almost certainly have a hugely negative impact on the shutter's durability.
     
  16. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    No problem at all, my good man!
     
  17. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    The typical time-lapse sequences I've found online rarely last more than five to ten seconds or so. That's all I want, a tiny sampling of video... literally a motion picture, nothing more.
     
  18. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    Do you think that I can duplicate this sort of action by sending a current through the wire in the form of an audio signal? It sounds logical to me, but I'm no camera, so I don't know for sure. For now I'm not expecting to get any sound out of the remote, but I certainly want to try running a couple of beeps and boops through the 2.5mm jack and see how the camera responds.
     
  19. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

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    #19
    1 click per second for 30 minutes would only be 1,800 shots.
     
  20. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #20
    Um, I think your calculator needs new batteries. 40K actuations at 1/sec is 11 hours, 6 minutes. 30 minutes gets one to 1,800 actuations. ;)
     
  21. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #21
    heh sorry. that's what i get for posting at 2:30am. :cool:
     
  22. KevGill macrumors newbie

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #22
    Take a look at This book and search inside. On Page 7 of chapter 1 you'll find the information you need, including a handy diagram of the Canon E3 connector :) It's two switches, not a resistance thing or an audio thing.

    HTH

    -- Kev
     
  23. flinch13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    I got the cable today, and, unsurprisingly, my experiment failed. When an audio cable is plugged in, my XT just takes picture after picture, regardless of whether music is playing or not. It's just completing the circuit I guess.. oh well.

    In any event, I'd love a cheap intervolometer. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could make this work? It's probably a long shot, but I figure anyone reading this forum could probably use one; it'd be a cool thing to do.
     
  24. neoserver macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Theoretically it should work as the pinout corresponds to R/L channels. But I suspect whats happening is that the computer/iPod shuffle is still completing the circuit even if there is no sound.
     
  25. wolfwill23 macrumors member

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #25
    Hey there,

    I'm a filmmaker/photographer and I've come up with a solution to the 'no timer for Rebel' issue. Check out rebeltimelapse.com to check it out. Works great!

    Thanks.
     

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